Ex-Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher believes that Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk is one of the best players in the Premier League.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Monday Night Football, Fletcher lauded the 27-year-old, arguing that he has "made a massive difference" to a once brittle Liverpool back line.
“He’s a monster, really, so big and powerful, he cruises through games, he’s top class.", the Scotsman said (via Sky Sports).
Van Dijk has appeared in every Premier League game for Liverpool so far this season, helping the Reds keep six clean sheets in the process. Since the Dutchman joined the Reds in last season's January transfer window, his side have conceded just 15 Premier League goals; only Man City have conceded fewer.
However, van Dijk's career path could have taken a dramatically different path, as Darren Fletcher explained on MNF.
Virgil van Dijk one of the best players in the league? Darren Fletcher has no doubt. 👊— Sky Sports MNF (@SkySportsMNF) November 5, 2018
He also explains how the @LFC centre-back could have ended up at @WBA...👀
Watch #MNF with @Carra23 and Darren Flecher live on Sky Sports Premier League now! https://t.co/Pu496D1spu pic.twitter.com/GwyVZ31SDL
“With my Scottish connections, I watched him play for Celtic. We [West Brom] were looking at centre-backs after the first summer we’ve been there, and I recommended Johnny Evans who we managed to get, which was fantastic, and I also said to go and get van Dijk.
“I think it was before he went to Southampton for I think it was £10m or £11m, and obviously West Brom felt it was maybe a bit too much. They were umming and ahhing about £6m for Johnny Evans. So you can maybe see the dilemma. There wasn’t much money.”
Eventually signing for Jurgen Klopp's side for £75m, Virgil van Dijk has transformed a Liverpool defence that conceded at least 40 goals for six straight seasons prior to his unveiling at Anfield. In light of this, many fans believe van Dijk is one of Klopp's most astute signings during his Liverpool tenure.